One in 12 people in Colorado and across the nation are diagnosed with health-related breathing issues each year like asthma, which currently affects 25 million people in this country. However, experts report that many suffer a misdiagnosis, and prescription drugs can cause additional problems. A pulmonologist reported that between 25 and 30 percent of people can be wrongly diagnosed.
One woman found out that she didn't even have asthma after she thought she suffered from it for 15 years. She had spent hundreds of dollars on prescriptions and had been using an inhaler. However, when she stopped using the inhaler, she reportedly said that her health improved. The pulmonologist reminded people that wheezing problems don't always mean someone has asthma. She emphasized that patients need to have a breathing test for a proper diagnosis.
The CDC reports that medical costs related to asthma run as high as $50 billion in the United Sates, but patients often suffer from other breathing problems that can include a chronic cough or shortness of breath. Sometimes these problems can indicate heart problems or vocal-chord problems. Other times a different prescription could cause breathing troubles.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, asthma is a lung disease that restricts pulmonary function and includes wheezing, tightness in the chest, coughing and shortness of breath. It usually begins in childhood; of those afflicted, 7 million are children.
When someone with a serious medical condition, such as heart failure, is misdiagnosed with asthma, they could suffer long-term effects from improper treatment. A personal injury attorney might be able to help a client who was a victim of a misdiagnosis seek financial compensation.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 'What Is Asthma?," 2013
Source: CBS Philly, " Health: Asthma Misdiagnosis Is Common", Stephanie Stahl, December 17, 2013